RCL: Kairos

Chastising the academic infrastructure of public schools, Sir Ken Robinson attributes the trend of unidimensional thinking and lack of creativity in modern youth to deficits in the public education system and as a result, distorted perceptions of “education.” Robinson’s plea for reforming and modernizing the traditional education paradigm arises in an age where education no longer guarantees a job and students nationwide have an ingrained, albeit misinformed, belief that if they do not pursue science or mathematics, they will never be successful. As Robinson informs, the current system of public education still holds is foundations in the past, when Industrialization created an initial burst in education and in consequence, schools were, and still are, organized on factory lines. Robinson reinforces the lack of advancement in schools to show that education is not progressing and may in fact be regressing towards a strictly regimented institution void of creativity or critical thinking. In light of an outdated infrastructure and declining academic performance, Robinson takes the opportunity (kairos) to share his vision for reformed education in a TedTalk, a platform conducive to sharing ideas and new ways of thinking.

To bring awareness and urgency to a nonfunctional system, Robinson discusses a study that showed the deleterious effects of the current public school system on student creativity. In the study, a group of children were monitored for creative capacity from the time they were in kindergarten to the time they were fifteen. A higher aptitude of creativity, which corresponded to a higher level of genius, was observed in kindergarten children (who received a genius score of 98%). As these children were retested at ten and fifteen years of age, their aptitude of creativity declined by more than half (to a genius score of 40%). As Robinson explains, society can no longer afford to believe that twelve years of grasping theoretical information constitutes an “education.” Rather, the influx of theoretical knowledge and the concept of “There’s only one answer. And it’s in the back,” has essentially purged modern youth of its creativity. The publication of the study substantiates Robinson’s claim that students are losing creativity and provides an appropriate context for Robinson to bring up the issue and spread it to wider audiences. In reference to kairos, Robinson utilizes the recent findings of the study to create a window of opportunity in which people across the nation are unanimous in their belief that the public education system needs to be reshuffled and remodeled.

Link to speech: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDZFcDGpL4U

3 responses to “RCL: Kairos

  1. Mikaela Hermstedt

    I believe that you have a great start on the kairos part of your essay! The troubles with public schools presented a good time for this Ted Talk to be presented. Like Jimmy, I think creativeness has something to do with age-but you didn’t have anything to do with the data, you just reported it! Good Job!

  2. Jimmy Frisbie

    I think the whole concept of creativity is very interesting — although in my opinion, the experiment you described does not seem extremely accurate. I think kids in kindergarten may be more creative just because of their age and their lack of knowledge of how things actually work. However, I do believe schools need to push for more creative methods to learning instead of the standard accepted practices of today. This is a great topic for kairos!

  3. Katie Czekalski

    I think this topic is especially interesting, seeing as we have just graduated from high school. But your example of kairos is perfectly adherent to the definition, using the recent failure of public schools to project his argument. You’ll have plenty to talk about. I like it!

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